Pundits and power rankings prior to the regular season have a tough job. Making guesses based on incomplete information is, as Pete Carroll pointed out, simply a guess. Chrystal balls are rare and unbiased opinions even rarer. I would like to address the actual probability of a successful Seahawks season based on something other than undefined conjecture. One approach that is reasonable is to look at the assumptions used to determine outcome, not just blanket statements like: QB bad, Coach Old, or Offensive line untested.
There are lots of ways to do so statistically but as the old adage goes, "there are liars, damn liars, and statistics" so I will pass on trying to make a case solely on data points that are mostly irrelevant. Instead Let's simply look at individual talent and then aggregate talent to assess the Seahawks chances.
Ok, i got it: Russell Wilson good, Geno Smith/Drew Lock bad. But what if Russell Wilson wasn't great at decision making and getting the ball out on time to his most talented teammates? Is that possible? And what if a marginally less talented arm talent was better than him at that one aspect of quarterbacking? If your supporting cast was strong would that allow a team to perform better? It is possible.
Could Rashad Penny be an elite running back? Well, wasn't he...just last year. Was the line he was running behind the reason for his success? Could this years iteration of the line be better with the new rookie additions, more seasoning of the system installed last year? With the addition of Ken Walker, could the Seahawks have a top 5 running attack? It is possible.
Are DK Metcalf and or Tyler Locket potentially great. The numbers suggest they are. But more importantly they are a nightmare to scheme against. When DK is on the field he is a big problem for defenses. Does anybody disagree? He's too big, too fast, has decent hands, and is a step away from a TD any time he gets the ball. Tyler Locket is, in my opinion, better. There is a reason for his success: 1) he gets open, 2) he has great hands, and 3) he's smarter than the guys he plays against. Can they be elite? It is possible.
Could tight ends that are in the top 10 in both blocking and receiving helpful? For a team that wants to run the ball and use play action? Yes. This group could be the unheralded strength of the team. How do you scheme against such a threat? Defensive coordinators have seen this script. Great teams have great tight ends and this group is experienced and talented? They may be great. It is possible.
Two nasty highly ranked upstart tackles combined with veteran depth in the guard position with a highly cerebral and effective leader at the center position? Is it a stretch to think they may be competent? No. They may even be better than that. If they are how well will the running, RPO, and passing game benefit? Perhaps quite a bit. It is possible.
Here I will simply state the assets: 1) A defensive focused coaching staff with a history of great successes; 2) A very deep and talented interior line: 3) New and notable talents on the edge; 4) A missile as a Middle linebacker; 5) A great safety tandem; 6) and a freak at cornerback. If any portion of that is true the defense will be more than good. It is possible.
And finally there is coaching. Does a culture of success matter? If it does wouldn't that make a difference for a team that is known for having one of the best winning cultures in the league? The additions of new blood and ideas in the coaching staff are significant and impressive. If they are as good as they are on paper, with good execution, couldn't they be one of the best in the league as they have been for over 10 years? it is possible.
So how is all of this potentially successful?
Because it doesn't all have to be true. Only a couple of these "possibilities" needs to come true for the Seahawks to have a winning season. That is what the pundits don't get. It's a game of probability and outcome. The scary part is if more than a couple of the above come true.....The Seahawks are a contender again. Don't be fooled by those that boil the Seahawks down to a QB and that alone is the factor that wins games.